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Head of Department: Miss. K Barker


Our curriculum aims to provide students with a rich and diverse experience that celebrates literary heritage and context. We aim to use literature to hold up a mirror to students’ own experiences and encourage them to reflect on societies from the past, present, and future. We endeavour to shape our students into reflective, compassionate, and empathetic citizens who can actively participate in society with outstanding reading, writing and oracy and therefore live fulfilled lives. 

Curriculum map and Big Ideas

big ideas final e21c english language.pdf


big ideas final e21c english literature.pdf


What skills and cultural capital do students acquire in your subject?

We use strategies such as “Reciprocal Reading” to ensure all students can access difficult texts. We expose our students to a wide range of texts, ideas, and concepts from the 19th century and beyond. We provide opportunities for students to advance their cultural capital and knowledge of current affairs through our non-fiction resources based on Crime and Punishment, I am Malala and The Power of Identity Unit. We give students vocabulary banks to promote detailed and coherent analysis.

How do you make Career’s education explicit in your curriculum?

Through the teaching of non-fiction writing and linking it to the role of journalists, politicians, and lawyers. Visits from authors and poets. Literacy across the curriculum.

What additional experiences (including expeditions) do your students access in your subject?

We have held performances of Shakespeare’s work such as Macbeth for Year 10 and Year 11. An expedition to the theatre to see various plays, to consolidate understanding and skills. Our Year 7 students competed in a poetry recital competition before Christmas which enabled them to master choral speaking.

How do you support all learners to progress?

We have an English specific teaching assistant with sophisticated subject knowledge. All schemes of work are differentiated and scaffolded and include challenging tasks which utilise Bloom’s Taxonomy. Whole Class Feedback addresses misconceptions, specific targets are given, and student work is used as exemplar material. All lessons use the I do, we do, you do model to enhance student analytical writing. A Literacy programme is delivered to Years Seven and Eight during form time. As a reading fluency strategy, we have a KS3 form class reader programme so that students hear a full text read out by an expert reader. Year Eleven receive an extensive intervention programme both before and after school.

How is your curriculum designed?

The curriculum at KS3 and KS4 is aligned with the other schools in the E21C Trust. Academic rigour is embedded within each scheme of learning. Year 7 – 9 are focused on embedding the broad skills of reading and writing. Lessons are designed to build on skills developed at KS2 and develop skills needed to succeed at GCSE and A Level. 

What content do you cover and how is this delivered over time?

At KS3, we study a range of novels, plays (including Shakespeare) and poems, as well as non-fiction (for example, I Am Malala). Students are also exposed to a range of fiction and no-fiction extracts including those written post and pre 19th Century. The complexity develops over KS3, as do the skills required to effectively analyse these texts and produce their own.

At KS4, students study Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol and a selection of contemporary and classic poetry as well as contemporary and Victorian fiction and non-fiction texts.

At KS5, students study Wuthering Heights, A Thousand Splendid Suns, A Streetcar Named Desire, Othello, a selection of contemporary poetry and the poems of Christina Rosetti.

Which exam board do you use? Why?

We use AQA which is the most common exam board across the country for both English language and English Literature. This ensures fairness of marking and staff can easily access the resources. The English department currently have five trained AQA examiners for both GCSE English Language and Literature.

What are the Big Ideas in your subject? Why are they important?

Context is what influences writers, change is important and impactful, the abuse of power has consequences, identity is diverse everyone is unique, the significance of relationships between characters and events, everyone has a moral obligation to be responsible towards others in society.

How do you intelligently sequence your curriculum so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before? Planning the progression model - How does a certain topic (e.g., algebra / language analysis) progress across the key stage(s)?

Academic rigour is embedded within each scheme of work. We intelligently sequence throughout: we choose shorter texts to study in Years 7 to 9 and academic subject terminology and evaluative language is built upon year by year. Year 7 – 9 cover three Shakespeare texts such as ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Richard III and 'Romeo and Juliet' these are taught in order for the students to have an appreciation and understanding of the form of comedies, histories and tragedies and also the rich literary heritage of Shakespeare. Additionally, booklets using different fictional and non-fictional texts are deliberately resourced to try to span as many styles of writing as possible. Year 9 are exposed to the concept of the well-made play, The Crucible, covering ideas about witchcraft, corruption of power and the role of women. Year 10 follow rigorous and bold set text teaching and language paper practice. For example, we will study every single scene in detail in 'Macbeth' and we teach the highest-level context of the tragedy. Teaching of poetry is sequenced intelligently by theme. This has been consistently refined since the specification began in 2016. Year 11 similarly study a rigorous and bold set novel teaching the conventions of an allegorical novella. The thesis-led approach for essays is truly homed in this year. This ensures our students are extremely prepared for the challenges of A-level.

How do you use spaced practice / retrieval practice?

All students receive retrieval practice in lessons through the ‘Do Now’ tasks that have been carefully planned and sequenced to maximise retention of key knowledge.

Interleaved revision of powerful knowledge is modelled and taught in lessons. This knowledge is recalled and applied through a range of low stakes quizzing and practice which take place both through intervention and ‘Do Now' activities in lessons. Extended essay practice is also a priority for homework to ensure that students practise the rigour demanded of constructing an extended piece of writing for both the literature and language GCSEs. 3

How is reading and mathematical fluency prioritised in your subject?

Reading fluency is ranked as the key priority and most lessons will see the students reading with the support of a teacher. Teachers actively include Mathematical fluency in their practice for example Venn diagrams to organise ideas and statistics to enhance persuasive writing.

Equitable delivery - How do you support disadvantaged students and students with SEND?

We support our disadvantaged students by ensuring that they are a priority for all classroom teachers - this is typically identified through the context sheets and seating plans. The English department is committed to trying to eradicate the progress gap that disadvantaged students face. All PP students in Year 11 are invited to after school revision. We ensure that all students are provided with copies of their set texts, supplementary booklets, and textbooks at no cost to them. This is to ensure equality across all groups of students.

How does your subject use homework to support learning?

We use tailored home learning booklets that align with the curriculum.

There is a ten-week study plan in place for Year 11 and Year 13.

Assessment - How do teachers assess across the unit / term / cycle / year / key stage?

We formatively assess in lessons through cold calling, pre-planned questioning, live marking and circulating during turn and talk. We assess student’s extended written work every three weeks. Milestone (summative) assessments are completed at the end of each term.